One of the most prestigious golf outings to benefit inner city youth will celebrate its 10th Anniversary on August 13th when businesses leaders and celebrities hit the links to encourage Milwaukee’s next generation to aspire to their dreams and consider careers in business.
Fittingly, the event will also honor two outstanding African American leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to encouraging business success in future generations. The 2010 recipient of the Fellowship Open Legends Award is Ulysses “Junior” Bridgeman, former NBA player and restaurant mogul. The recipient of the 2010 Fellowship Open Community Leader Award is local youth advocate ReDonna Rodgers.
Bridgeman may be most famous for his time in the NBA, but it is his skills off the court that have given him success in the corporate world and the community.
“Playing basketball was a wonderful opportunity, however, youth should dream to succeed in other ways, too. They can reach those dreams through a good education, a strong work ethic and entrepreneurial opportunities,” said Bridgeman.
Excellence is a way of life for Bridgeman. After being an NBA star for 12 years – 10 years with the Milwaukee Bucks – he founded Bridgman Foods, which now operates more than 150 Wendy’s and 100 Chili’s restaurants nationwide and employs more than 11,000 people. He is also on the board of directors for the Professional Golfers Association (PGA) and Fifth Third Bank, and is an honorary committee member of the Fellowship Open.
“Junior Bridgman is such an inspiration to others and serves as a champion for those who are less fortunate,” said Fellowship Open Chair John W. Daniels, Jr., chairman of Quarles & Brady LLP.
Rodgers, winner of the Community Leader Award, has been a well-known children’s advocate in the Milwaukee community for years. Rodgers co-founded Milwaukee’s Center for Teaching Entrepreneurship (CTE) in 1991 with the mission to expose youth ages 9-24 to personal and professional growth experiences through programs and coaching related to financial literacy and entrepreneurship.
“This award is an honor – yet the biggest honor has been working to encourage youth to gain business skills and help them succeed,” said Rodgers.
Since its inception, CTE has assisted more than 60 business startups by young people and has served more than 14,000 youth through its programs.
“ReDonna and Junior have shown their commitment to giving back to the community through leadership and involvement,” said Daniels. “The Fellowship Open has always worked to support organizations that make a difference in the lives of youth in Milwaukee, and we are pleased to honor these two role models and host a great day on the links.”
The Fellowship Open will take place at Silver Spring Country Club on August 13. This year’s event will benefit the Milwaukee County Council, Boy Scouts of America; Solomon Community Temple United Methodist Church; Transitions: Men of Tomorrow; and the Chuck Rhodes – Fellowship Open/YMCA Scholarship. Since its inception, the Fellowship Open has raised more than $500,000 to benefit Milwaukee youth organizations. For more information, visit www.fellowshipopen.com.